Alissa Schwartz


Child welfare, emotions, employee attitudes, social workers, well-being


The field of child welfare struggles with high rates of job turnover. This study describes the contributors to and experiences of foster care workers' emotional responses to their work. Uniquely drawing from the field of Positive Psychology, it describes and conceptualizes the relationships of multi-level contributors to foster care workers' emotional reactions at work. In-depth interviews conducted with 25 foster care workers found that negative emotions were more prominently featured than positive, but that working in an agency with positive workplace characteristics mitigated this relationship. Theoretical implications and limitations of taking a Positive Psychology approach to the study are discussed.

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